Treatment Options

Home Remedies for Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Did you know that at least 30% of women and 40% of men snore on a regular basis and up to 50% snore occasionally? If your bed partner snores, you are not alone! Up to 59%report that their bed partner snores.

There are many natural snoring remedies and lifestyle changes that may be investigated to improve or eliminate snoring. But use caution before you self-treat! It’s important to rule out snoring as a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a serious condition that requires medical attention. OSA is connected to high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and even cognitive and sexual dysfunction. Many accidents are caused by excessive daytime sleepiness, a symptom of sleep apnea, prompting the trucking industry to test their employees through a sleep study, making sure they are being treated by effective therapies, such as CPAP or an oral appliance.

You can take our Epworth sleepiness survey to find out how you rate on the sleepiness scale

Home remedies for snoring can be very effective. Once sleep apnea has been ruled out through a sleep study as the cause of snoring and sleepiness, or in some cases as an adjunct to improve the effectiveness of sleep apnea treatments.

Is Weight Loss a Cure for Snoring and Sleep Apnea?

Snoring and sleep apnea can be treated with CPAP or an oral appliance, but weight loss could be considered the most effective natural cure for snoring and sleep apnea in patients where obesity is the primary cause of snoring and sleep apnea. In fact, studies show a 10% reduction in weight could lead to more than 25% reduction in the Apnea-Hypopnea-Index (AHI), which measures sleep apnea severity. Long term results require behavior modification to maintain reduced weight.

Neck size is a reliable index as a predictor of OSA. In men, OSA is more prevalent in those with a neck size > 17 inches; in women, neck size > 15.5 inches.

Keep in mind, there are many other causes for snoring and sleep apnea, unrelated to obesity, so weight loss may not be the answer to your quest to stop snoring or help sleep apnea.

Stop Snoring with Lifestyle Changes

We have an entire section on how to sleep better with better sleep hygiene. Some of the key lifestyle changes for better sleep that help to stop snoring include:

Avoid drinking alcohol: Snoring only after drinking alcohol is a common complaint. Drinking alcohol or taking sedatives within 3 hours of bedtime can relax the muscles in the back of the throat and lead to snoring. Alcohol can also increase the duration of apneic events by dulling your brain's activity that signals you to awaken and restart to breathe.

Eating late: Don't eat a heavy meal within three hours of bedtime

Stop smoking: Snoring and sleep apnea can be caused or exacerbated by inflammation due to smoking.

Exercise every day: Sleep apnea is more prevalent among overweight people and exercise is a key to weight loss. Studies show that 61% of people who don’t exercise reported rarely or never getting a good night’s sleep on work nights. Find more interesting facts and statistics about exercise and sleep.

Positional Therapy for OSA

Avoid sleeping on your back: According to some researchers the prevalence of positional OSA, meaning sleep apnea is worse when sleeping in certain positions, is between 55 and 60%. In some patients, snoring and obstructive sleep apnea is worsened by sleeping on one's back. Sewing a tennis ball into the back of a T-shirt and wearing that as a pajama top will help to prevent rolling over on your back.

Raise the head of the bed: Elevating the head of the bed by 4 inches or so has been shown to help to reduce snoring and sleep apnea in some cases.

Snoring Mouthpiece

In addition to oral appliances for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, your Snoring Isn’t Sexy® dentist can fabricate and follow your progress with a custom snoring appliance.

Snoring Mouthpiece

Sing!: A clinical trial found that a program of vocal exercises helped reduce snoring.

Nasal strips or nasal dilators: These can to keep the nostrils and nasal airway open and help reduce snoring. See a physician if you have chronic nasal congestion or obstruction.

Provent: One of the newest sleep apnea treatment options is an alternative form of CPAP called Provent, a device that fits over the nostrils and is smaller and less intrusive than the traditional CPAP machine. Provent, however, is more expensive than regular CPAP machines, and it doesn't work for everyone.

Resources 1. Institute of Medicine. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2006.


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